A Street Outreach Service run by leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has been named as one of the top four winners in the London Homelessness Award.
The Westminster Street Outreach Service (Westminster SOS) provides support and assistance to anyone sleeping rough in the borough.
When people are found accommodation, they are then offered bespoke assistance so they can maintain accommodation and do not return to the streets.
This includes help with housing, health, immigration, access to benefits and reconnections where appropriate.
The other three to four finalists are:
- Camden Health Improvement Practice
- MyBnk – The Money House
- Southwark Law Centre – Homeless Patients Legal Advocacy Service
The four winners will share cash prizes totalling £80,000, which will go towards supporting the important work that each project undertakes.
The final placings will be announced at a special awards ceremony, held at the Union Chapel on 14 October.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeping, Westminster and Migrant Services said: “It is a privilege to have been chosen as a top four finalist in the London Homelessness Award and I am so proud of every single member of the team, and the incredible work that they do every single day to support people off the streets of Westminster.
“The work that the team do is challenging every year, but this past year has been like no other, and probably the most difficult one so far. Yet, every single one of them has continued to carry out their work with such compassion and dedication, and for that they should be so proud of themselves.
“The struggle is not over yet however. Despite having supported thousands of people of the streets throughout the past year, many more people are still finding themselves homeless every day and I know how hard the team are still working to reduce that number as much as possible, so a recognition such as this goes a long way.
“I would also like to congratulate the other three finalists, who I know also do outstanding work, and it is an honour to be recognised alongside them.”
Executive Chair of London Housing Foundation Ian Brady, who chaired the judging panel, said: “With a strong field of applicants, each of these projects did well to get to the last six and all would have been worthy winners.
“The presentations and stories they told were very powerful and as a result the judging panel agreed to expand the prize fund and give four financial awards this year. This is the first time this has happened.
“The winners all provide high quality services to a wide range of clients and showcase just how vibrant and innovative the homelessness sector in London continues to be.”
Two further projects were particularly commended as making a special contribution to helping combat homelessness in London:
- St John of God Hospitaller Services (SJOG) – Olallo House Specialist TB Homeless
- Standing Together – Westminster VAWG Housing First Service
This comes after the organisers of the award – which has been running for the past 20 years and this year attracted more than 30 nominations – previously announced that St Mungo’s was one of six organisations shortlisted for the award.
For more information about the London Homelessness Awards, visit www.lhawards.org.uk.